Republican Cory Gardner Gets Major Newspaper Endorsement In Tossup Senate Race

October 10, 2014 by  
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In what could be a big boost to his Senate bid, Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) received the Denver Post editorial board’s endorsement Friday in a race that could decide which party controls Congress’ upper chamber.

The paper wrote that Gardner, who is challenging first-term Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), would provide “fresh leadership, energy and ideas” in Congress and be a more proactive voice for the state. The editorial argues that Udall “is not perceived as a leader in Washington and, with rare exceptions such as wind energy and intelligence gathering, he is not at the center of the issues that count — as his Democratic colleague, Sen. Michael Bennet, always seems to be.”

About half of the ads criticizing Gardner have focused on his past support for state-based personhood initiatives granting legal rights to fetuses, which medical organizations say could outlaw abortion and ban most common forms of birth control. Television spots have also hit Gardner for cosponsoring a federal personhood bill that contains similar language to the state initiatives. In response to those attacks, Gardner has touted his new support for making birth control available over-the-counter.

The editorial board criticized Udall for the Democratic strategy of highlighting Gardner’s record on reproductive health issues, saying that it represents an “obnoxious one-issue campaign” that “is an insult to those he seeks to convince.” It argues that Gardner is no “culture warrior,” saying that he would “pose no threat to abortion rights.”

The endorsement is notable given that the paper recommended Udall over former Rep. Bob Schaffer (R-Colo.) in 2008. Other papers in the state have split their endorsements this year. While The Durango Herald endorsed Udall, the Colorado Springs-Gazette picked Gardner.

HuffPost Pollster, which tracks and combines all publicly available polling, has Gardner leading Udall by just one percentage point with just 24 days until Nov. 4.

Double-Amputee Veteran Makes History On The Cover Of Men’s Health Magazine

October 9, 2014 by  
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Retired Army Sgt. Noah Galloway, a double-amputee, shares his story of overcoming physical and emotional challenges in the November issue of Men’s Health.

He recounted details of the explosion that changed his life. In December 2005, Galloway was serving his second tour in Iraq when his Humvee hit a roadside bomb. He lost his left forearm and left leg below the knee in the blast, Men’s Health reported. He also battled depression for years after the incident.

I’d sit at home and drink and smoke and sleep. That’s all I did,” Galloway told the magazine.

mens health

Five years after the incident, the retired sergeant decided it was time to make a change and picked up a rigorous fitness routine to get himself into shape. His mission to get fit has been a successful one, and the 33-year-old was chosen as the “Ultimate Men’s Health Guy,” featured on the November issue of Men’s Health — making him the first reader to grace the cover of the publication.

The father of three was chosen out of 13,000 entries, according to Galloway told that he was on his way to New York as a finalist to find out if he’d been chosen as the cover star when he unexpectedly got the news a little early.

“I got a voicemail from a friend who saw the cover at a Kentucky truck stop and congratulated me,” Galloway told the site. “Then the text messages started coming in. I was stunned.”

While the veteran says he’s surprised by the results, the achievement is well-deserved. In 2010, he began competing in various races and marathons, reported. Galloway used fitness to combat his depression, and trained using his own workout methods to better suit his amputations.

I looked back, and my depression terrified me. I never wanted to experience that again. That’s why I got into races,” he told Men’s Health. “What kept me moving was never going back to where I came from. I wanted people to see more than my injury.”

Galloway’s new outlook is what he aims to share with others. He currently runs the No Excuses Charitable Fund, a fund with the mission of promoting healthy lifestyles in his home state of Alabama.

I believe in being better, not bitter,” he wrote on his site.

The November issue of Men’s Health magazine featuring Noah Galloway is currently on newsstands.

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American ISIS Hostage’s Mother Asks To Speak With Militant Leader

October 8, 2014 by  
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The mother of an American aid worker held hostage and threatened with beheading by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has posted a message on Twitter asking to speak with the leader of the militant group holding her son.

A Letter from Abdul-Rahman Kassig’s Mother to IS Caliph Al Baghdadi

— Paula Kassig (@PaulaKassig) October 8, 2014

On a recently-created Twitter account, Paula Kassig wrote to Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, “I am trying to get in touch with the Islamic State about my son’s fate,” and asked, “How can we reach you?”

New York Times foreign correspondent Rukmini Callimachi, who claims to be in touch with an intermediary family to the Kassig’s, confirmed the authenticity of the account and the statement.

Kassig was taken captive by ISIS on Oct. 1, 2013 in Syria while providing aid for refugees from the country’s civil war. The 26-year-old from Indiana was a former Army Ranger, deployed briefly to Iraq in 2007. Kassig changed his name from Peter while held by ISIS.

Also on Wednesday, the Kassig family released a video pleading with ISIS for their son’s release in Arabic. They had earlier released a video in English.

In a video released on Friday showing the beheading of British aid worker Alan Henning, Kassig was shown next to a masked militant who threatened to kill him. ISIS has used such tactics to threaten those opposing its aims to establish a caliphate. The Islamic militant group has seized large swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq, murdering combating forces and civilians.

In addition to Henning, ISIS has beheaded three other Westerners: two journalists and a British aid worker.

Stephen Collins, ’7th Heaven’ Star, Still Alive After False Shooting Report On Twitter

October 7, 2014 by  
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Police responded to reports of a gunshot at the Los Angeles home of actor Stephen Collins on Tuesday night, but say reports the “7th Heaven” star had shot himself are untrue.

Collins had been in the news all day after he was reportedly heard on a recording obtained by TMZ confessing to child molestation and exposing himself.

He was then fired from his role on the film “Ted 2,” and resigned from the National Board of the Screen Actors Guild. In addition, the New York Police Department said it was investigating a complaint filed in 2012 over allegations of lewd conduct on an underage girl in 1972.

On Tuesday night, someone reported a gunshot at Collins’ home in the Tarzana neighborhood. The Los Angeles Police Department told Buzzfeed that officers responded, but didn’t find anything.

LAPD officer tells me there was no shooting tonight at Stephen Collins home. He is “alive and well” and not even at that location

— Jon Passantino (@passantino) October 8, 2014

However, reports spread on social media that Collins had shot himself after former “Baywatch” actress Donna D’Errico, who lives in the same neighborhood, tweeted: “That guy from 7th Heaven lives right around the corner from me & just shot himself a few minutes ago…”

She later deleted the tweet, but it had already been retweeted numerous times — and, in a number of cases, the information was repeated without attribution.

D’Errico later deleted the tweet and apologized for spreading false rumors:

I just tweeted out what I was being told by my neighbor who were on scene. I apologize for tweeting what I’d heard before confirming it.

— Donna D’Errico (@DonnaDErrico) October 8, 2014

Her mea culpa led to the following responses from the LAPD’s social media coordinator:

@DonnaDErrico @LAcrimes That why I dont tweet anything that my neighbor tells me

— Officer Lee (@LAPDLee) October 8, 2014

The amount of false information that was being tweeted regarding the Tarzana incident is mind blowing. Lets check facts next time, people.

— Officer Lee (@LAPDLee) October 8, 2014


Politico Sees Big Money In Expanding Its Labor Coverage

October 7, 2014 by  
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NEW YORK — The percentage of American workers in unions is the lowest in nearly a century, and only two major newspapers still devote a reporter full-time to covering labor. But where some others outlets have scaled back, Politico sees an opportunity.

Politico Pro, home to the news organization’s 13 subscription-based verticals about issues like health care, defense and tax policy, will launch a newsletter Tuesday called “Morning Shift,” and will launch a labor and employment section in the coming weeks.

Marty Kady, editor of Politico Pro, acknowledged in an interview with The Huffington Post that “the labor beat has declined with the labor unions.” But Kady said Politico’s market research suggested that stakeholders in government, lobbying and Fortune 500 companies were looking for the “nitty gritty” details of labor policy.

The new section, he said, will focus less on union politics, a traditional part of the labor beat, and more on detailed coverage of labor regulations and legislation. On Monday, Politico Playbook noted the new vertical would track “developments at Department of Labor and NRLB” and provide “intelligence on unions, immigration, minimum wage, unemployment, retirement, pensions and pay, health care and ACA implementation, workforce training, and court cases.”

The Huffington Post employs a full-time labor reporter, but coverage has shrunk more broadly across the media in recent years. New York Times veteran reporter Steve Greenhouse said last month on NPR’s “On the Media” that he has witnessed dwindling attendance of reporters at events, like the AFL-CIO’s winter meeting, and that newspapers like The Washington Post, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times no longer assign a reporter full-time on labor. Politico’s biggest competitor for incremental coverage of labor policy issues is likely to be Bloomberg BNA.

Subscriptions for Pro verticals cost in the thousands of dollars, and the latest offering is one that may appeal to unions, law firms and companies wanting the latest workplace policy news. And Pro coverage, like that appearing on the main Politico site, is expected to be nonpartisan.

But in staffing the labor and employment vertical, Politico has turned to experienced journalists known for expressing points of view with their reporting. Timothy Noah, a liberal writer who spent years at The New Republic, Slate and MSNBC, will edit the four-person staff, which also includes Mike Elk, a labor reporter who recently worked for the left-leaning magazine, In These Times.

Elk sparked controversy in 2011 after giving a press credential, which he obtained as a Huffington Post blogger, to a construction union leader who used it to disrupt a mortgage bankers conference, a move that blurred the line between labor activism and reporting. Elk, who was just 24 years old at the time, apologized last year for the incident and wrote that he has “come to appreciate the value of old-school, straight reporting.”

Kady said the hires signal “no shift in philosophy and attitude” at Politico.

“I went literally out there and said, ‘Who knows the most about labor and who is a good journalist and how can we hire them,’” Kady said. He cited Noah’s expertise on the economics of the labor workforce and called Elk “one of the best-regarded labor reporters in the country.”

“What outlets people wrote for in the past and what their personal views are, it’s out there, but it’s irrelevant to how we’re going to approach the coverage,” Kady said. “Politico Pro has a reputation as being hard-hitting, real-time breaking news policy coverage and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Several media and conservative outlets have highlighted Elk’s public views –- some specifically critical of Politico. For instance, Elk tweeted last year after Politico announced it was considering a metered paywall model that somebody “would have to pay me to read politico.” He also suggested Politico keep its headquarters in Virginia because it’s a right-to-work state, whereby employees aren’t required to join unions.

Elk’s views about Politico seem to have evolved, though, as evident in a Friday tweet: “just love this place!”

Senate Candidates Get The Tinder Treatment With New Online App

October 6, 2014 by  
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WASHINGTON — Move over, Tinder and Hinge, because there’s a new app tempting you to swipe right.

The digital news organization Vocativ released its new Tinder-like web-based app, called Votr, on Monday. The app, first shared with The Huffington Post, aims to stimulate interest in this year’s midterm elections by matching users with U.S. Senate candidates.

“Looking for your ideological soulmate?” reads the app’s homepage. “Votr plays Cupid to match you with November’s most eligible politicians.”

Votr assesses a user’s ideological orientation by asking questions about the primary color of the user’s state, the user’s educational background, past military service, worship habits and bank account, as well as issue-oriented questions about abortion, same-sex marriage, global warming, gun control and marijuana decriminalization. Other questions ask about the user’s preference for sports or the arts, dogs or cats and Beyonce or Rihanna. Each question is accompanied by an emoji symbol.

“What we wanted to do was take a lighthearted tone — this is not the HuffPost elections dashboard. It’s not to help you make a decision so much as reset your hardened point of view, your cynicism about the political process,” Vocativ Vice President of Product Elena Haliczer told HuffPost Friday. “We’re targeting people in their 20s and 30s and that’s the tenor of a lot of people’s reactions to the elections.”

After answering the obligatory questions, users get to swipe right if they like the candidate, or left if they’re not interested. The app provides links to the candidate’s campaign websites and social media accounts.


Every candidate profile comes with a fun fact. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), for example, “has a dog named Sugar Belle” and is pro-choice, supports marriage equality, thinks global warming is a threat, supports stricter gun laws and supports marijuana law reform, according to Votr. We also learn that Kentucky’s Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who is challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), “grew up wanting to be a doctor, but changed majors in college after passing out while watching carpal tunnel surgery.”

Each candidate’s story is more complicated, of course: Votr fails to mention, for instance, that Landrieu opposes the Environmental Protection Agency’s new limits on carbon emissions.

And Votr doesn’t just include high-profile candidates like Landrieu. Even North Carolina independent candidate Sean Haugh gets a profile, though his mentions that he “enjoys cooking, baking and fantasy football” rather than his work as a pizza deliveryman.

“What I love about the experience is that even for people I’m not aligned with politically, I found something out about them that I wouldn’t have known otherwise,” Haliczer said.

This is certainly true — this reporter, for instance, did not know that retired Col. Rob Maness (R), who is running for the Senate in Louisiana, “served in the midst of the Iranian hostage crisis.” We’re also reminded that Scott Brown, the Republican candidate for Senate in New Hampshire, won Cosmopolitan magazine’s “America’s Sexiest Man” contest when he was in law school.

The Most Memorable Presidential Addresses Throughout History

October 5, 2014 by  
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Sixty-seven years ago, on Oct. 5, 1947, Americans gathered around their small black-and-white television sets to watch a revolution in presidential communication. That day, President Harry S. Truman gave the first televised presidential address from the White House. During the address, Truman asked Americans to cut back on their grain usage in order to help starving Europeans who were still recovering from World War II.

In the years since then, we’ve watched presidents defend their actions, apologize for their private mistakes and try to heal the public during times of tragedy. Presidential addresses don’t always sway public opinion, but they do stay in our minds for a reason.

We’ve compiled the most memorable televised presidential addresses in American history. Watch above.

Netanyahu Fooled the New York Times — For One Day

October 4, 2014 by  
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Ever the clever one, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was up to his old tricks again this week. On Monday, he addressed a half empty UN General Assembly chamber and then came to Washington for what was reported to be a rather chilly meeting with President Obama.

His United Nations’ speech was classic Netanyahu — ominous doomsday warnings coupled with red meat for the faithful, followed by misdirection and, for good measure, a bit of outright deceit intended for media consumption. The latter, most notably, included the Prime Minister’s offer to the Arab States to join with Israel in creating “a productive partnership that would build a more secure, peaceful, and prosperous Middle East” — the idea being something like “we can’t make peace with the Palestinians, but if you, Arab States, make peace with us, then we can work together to find a solution to all our problems”.

This Israeli fantasy of making peace with the Arabs without first making peace with the Palestinians has been around for decades. It is, in effect, a desire to turn the Arab Peace Initiative on its head with Israel seeking to secure the benefits of regional recognition and normalization, while paying no price, in return. To the uninitiated, or the true-believer, the idea has some appeal — making it appear that Netanyahu is taking the “high road” in fighting extremism and seeking peace. It is, however, a non-starter since it is something that no Arab leader, and most certainly no segment of Arab public opinion will tolerate. No Arab, at this point, will walk over the bodies of Gaza’s dead or by-pass Arab rights in Jerusalem.

There is another more fundamental problem and that is that Netanyahu wasn’t serious. His proposal wasn’t real. It was, instead, the sort of clever gamesmanship, playing for headlines, for which the Israeli PM is notorious. As is often the case, when he is backed into a corner, Netanyahu will try to maneuver by changing the subject.

It was disturbing that instead of straight-away dismissing this stunt, the New York Times took the bait and headlined their report on the Israeli leader’s speech and meeting with President Obama — “Netanyahu Sees Arab Alliance Aiding Mideast Peace”.

The accompanying story began,

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel on Wednesday raised the tantalizing prospect that a new Arab alliance could resuscitate Israel’s moribund peace talks with the Palestinians, but President Obama responded with a familiar complaint — that Jewish settlements are the real problem.

In an Oval Office meeting that spoke to both the rapidly shifting landscape in the Middle East and the enduring realities of the peace process, Mr. Obama and Mr. Netanyahu discussed how the militant group, Islamic State, was reshaping the region, with Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab states lining up with Israel against a common foe.

That alignment, Mr. Netanyahu declared in a speech on Monday at the United Nations could be the foundation for the renewal of the Palestinian peace negotiations, which fell apart in April over Jewish settlements and other disputes. It has also left the Israeli leader in an arguably stronger position in the region, if not internationally.

The headline and the framing of the story were misleading and disturbing, portraying Netanyahu as a visionary who sees new possibilities in a changing world, and Obama as stuck in the past with nothing to offer but “a familiar complaint”. But wading further into this story makes it clear that the headline and the lead paragraphs were, in fact, nothing more than the misdirection, Netanyahu had hoped for.

Right before the White House meeting, Israel had approved over 2,000 new settlement units in East Jerusalem and a group of hardline settlers, with Israeli military protection occupied a number of homes in Silwan, an Arab community also in East Jerusalem. Far from being just President Obama’s “familiar complaint,” settlement expansion designed to frustrate peace and embarrass the White House is the modus operandi of the Israeli government — which, by its very actions, makes it clear that it has no intention of reaching a just peace agreement with the Palestinians.

In the aftermath of the horrific slaughter of innocents in Gaza and in the midst of the rapid expansion of Jewish-only colonies in and around occupied Jerusalem, any talk of an “Arab Alliance” with Israel becomes sheer nonsense. And the notion that Israel is now in an “arguably stronger position in the region, if not internationally” is also nonsense. With Israel facing a UN investigation into its bombing of UN facilities in Gaza, a Security Council vote on a pending Palestinian resolution to set a date for Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories, and growing international outrage over Israel’s behavior in the Gaza war and its ever expanding settlement program — Israel is, in fact, more isolated then ever before. And because the U.S. continues to be Israel’s strongest ally, it is putting the U.S. at risk, as well.

The very next day, the Times ran an editorial entitled “Mr. Netanyahu’s Strange Course”, in which they rebutted not only the Prime Minister, but the aforementioned article. They referred to the newly announced settlements as “another in a string of calculated embarrassments that… have undermined American efforts” and quoted the Administration rebuke that the new construction “would bring international condemnation [that would] ‘distance Israel from even its closest allies.’”

As is often the case, Netanyahu’s clever, but disingenuous, ploys can’t stand up in the face of reality. The Israeli Prime Minister may have initially fooled the New York Times headline writers and story editors. But in the end, the Times got it right when they closed their editorial noting “Mr. Netanyahu’s present course is antagonizing everyone”.

Follow @AAIUSA for more.

Jessica Williams Shows Men The True Benefits Of Being A Woman In Today’s ‘Feminized’ World

October 3, 2014 by  
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“Sexism. Does it still exist? Many men say no.”

So posits Jon Stewart in an Oct. 2 episode of “The Daily Show.” Indeed, many (chiefly Fox News hosts and commentators) are convinced it doesn’t, insisting catcalls are really just compliments, “boys will be boys,” and we should just “let men be men already.”

“The Daily Show” enlisted correspondent Jessica Williams to explore the grim reality of a country oversensitive to sexism. According to Fox News commentator Brit Hume: We live in “feminized atmosphere” that is suffocating men, who are “in constant danger of slipping out and saying something that’s going to get you in trouble…”

Ah yes. Men are in danger! To prove it, Jessica Williams takes us into a day in her “fun world” of “Jessica’s Feminized Atmosphere.” Do men get to compete in beauty pageants every day on their walk to work? Oh, pity to the poor man who walks past an open construction zone with nary an unsolicited compliment. How’s a guy supposed to get any exercise without the benefit of the 45 extra minutes of circuitous walking in order to avoid heavy catcalling corners? Who is there to remind men to smile?

In consultation with a few (dozen) women who dare to disagree that street harassment is not a flattering privilege of our “feminized atmosphere,” Williams also provides a map of catcall-free zones in New York City and shares a few simple tips to walk down the street without getting harassed. “Act psycho” is the surest bet. Watch the full video for additional options.

Awesome Girls Explain Why Sexist Advertising Has No Business In Their Lives

October 2, 2014 by  
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These girls are breaking out of the pink aisle, and they’d really like more adults to try and keep up.

SheKnows, a women’s lifestyle media platform, sat down with a group of teens and tweens to talk about the rise of “femvertising,” an increasingly popular form of female-geared marketing that doesn’t rely on gender stereotypes to sell products. For the girls who spoke with SheKnows, this change can’t come soon enough.

“You don’t have to have pink toys if you’re a girl… That was the olden days. Now it’s 2014. Catch up, people,” one of the girls said in her interview.

All the girls seemed to have a clear understanding of the delineation between “boy toys” and “girl toys,” and many argued that the divide shouldn’t exist at all.

But the kids’ concerns weren’t limited to gender roles in the toy store. They also tackled a range of topics — from the effect of Photoshopped models on teens’ self-esteem, to how female characters are portrayed in Hollywood movies.

SheKnows released its video of the interviews Sept. 30, ahead of its Oct. 2 Advertising Week panel in New York City. The panel, which focused on femvertising, argued that pro-female advertising is not only the right choice for girls, but also the smart choice for advertisers.

Even with SheKnows trying to nudge advertisers in a different direction, it’s clear that the girls interviewed for the company’s video aren’t going to wait around for adults to get on their level. They might be young, but they’re already pretty well-versed in the challenges facing them and are willing to speak up for themselves.

When the girls were shown Always’ viral “Like A Girl” femvertising video, they had an immediate response to the idea that doing something “like a girl” means doing it badly.

“You say I run like a girl? Well, I run like a girl because I am amazing. I run like a girl because I run fast,” one of the interviewees exclaims with evident pride.

Rock on.


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